Thursday, February 17, 2011

Instructive Discipline

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 2:30 PM
In order to properly discipline our children, we must have a proper understanding of discipline. When people think about discipline they generally think about correcting or punishing children for wrong behavior. They think about spankings and time-outs and revoking of privileges. However, discipline involves much, much more than correction. It involves discipling our children’s hearts and teaching them everything they need to know for life. Discipline is as much about teaching right behaviors as it is eliminating negative behaviors. In all of our actions as parents we should come from a frame of reference of what is in the child’s best interest. The goals of discipline are to direct a child to make good decisions, develop right thinking, and integrate right motives into their heart. As parents we teach them these skills through words and actions and create boundaries around them as they develop these skills themselves. We provide the outside motivation for making good choices until the child develops internal motivation to make good decisions – which comes in steps and requires love, diligence, and growing with our child.

As I said in the beginning of this chapter, I often fall short in disciplining my children in the right way with the right heart. There are days I’m extremely tired and have a shorter temper. There are times I get upset because one of my children interrupted my schedule. There are times I discipline in anger because I’ve been defied or ignored. But just as our children grow and develop as we correct them and teach them to do right in mind, heart, and body, so also will God work in us. If we let Him lead us and guide us as we lead and guide our children, we will grow as parents. As I seek God to give me the strength, knowledge and wisdom I need to parent my children in the way they need me to, I see myself becoming more patient, longer-tempered, and less selfish. My parenting decisions become less about me and more (truly) about them. I am learning to love them with an agape love, which is always in their best interest, even (and especially) when it’s not the easy way to go.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Instructive Discipline

In order to properly discipline our children, we must have a proper understanding of discipline. When people think about discipline they generally think about correcting or punishing children for wrong behavior. They think about spankings and time-outs and revoking of privileges. However, discipline involves much, much more than correction. It involves discipling our children’s hearts and teaching them everything they need to know for life. Discipline is as much about teaching right behaviors as it is eliminating negative behaviors. In all of our actions as parents we should come from a frame of reference of what is in the child’s best interest. The goals of discipline are to direct a child to make good decisions, develop right thinking, and integrate right motives into their heart. As parents we teach them these skills through words and actions and create boundaries around them as they develop these skills themselves. We provide the outside motivation for making good choices until the child develops internal motivation to make good decisions – which comes in steps and requires love, diligence, and growing with our child.

As I said in the beginning of this chapter, I often fall short in disciplining my children in the right way with the right heart. There are days I’m extremely tired and have a shorter temper. There are times I get upset because one of my children interrupted my schedule. There are times I discipline in anger because I’ve been defied or ignored. But just as our children grow and develop as we correct them and teach them to do right in mind, heart, and body, so also will God work in us. If we let Him lead us and guide us as we lead and guide our children, we will grow as parents. As I seek God to give me the strength, knowledge and wisdom I need to parent my children in the way they need me to, I see myself becoming more patient, longer-tempered, and less selfish. My parenting decisions become less about me and more (truly) about them. I am learning to love them with an agape love, which is always in their best interest, even (and especially) when it’s not the easy way to go.

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